Visual Anthropology and Materiality

The theme Visual Anthropology and Materiality is based in recognition that technology, media and material culture are not merely products of culture but active sites of cultural practice.

This research theme connects the work of visual and cultural anthropologists with archaeologists who are investigating human visual communication and the cultural effects of the production, circulation and consumption of images and objects.

This inherently interdisciplinary theme encourages collaboration among anthropologists and artists, art historians, and scholars of cultural and media studies.

Departmental research that connects to this theme includes: collaborative art-based community research centred on the production of digital video and photographic art as both a subject of and method for research; studies of technological style and processes of material culture production; investigations of the role of images in the evolution of human cognition; and research on the diverse ways in which technology mediates and shapes bodies, social relationships, and subjectivities.

Take a look at the Ongoing Research page for more information on current research projects related to this theme.

Recent publications

  • 2020 - Collins, Benjamin R., Wojcieszak, Marine, Nowell, April, Hodgskiss, Tammy,  and Ames, Christopher J. H. Beads and bead residues as windows to past behaviours and taphonomy: A case study from Grassridge Rockshelter, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Anthropological and Archaeological Sciences 12 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-020-01164-5
  • 2019 - Rudnyckyj, Daromir. Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • 2018. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier. Guardians of the Night (15 min) (trailer): https://vimeo.com/275514067
  • 2018. La Tumba Mambi. In process of post-production. Trailer (SP. ENG-Sub): https://vimeo.com/151612091

  • 2018 - Ann Stahl, Efficacious Objects and Techniques of the Subject: “Ornaments” and their Depositional Contexts in Banda, Ghana. In Relational Identities and Other-than-Human Agency in Archaeology, edited by Eleanor Harrison-Buck and Julia Hendon, pp. 197-236. Boulder: University Press of Colorado.